Who: Bree Beal is executive director of BEAT Children’s Theatre and one of the directors of “Charlotte’s Web,” opening Thursday at 2nd Street Theater, 220 NE Lafayette Ave., Bend. The play based on E.B. White’s classic children’s book is about kinship among farmyard animals, particularly Charlotte the spider and Wilbur the pig. BEAT’s production features two casts led by two directors, Beal and Gracie Conant, 19. The regular run of performances has already sold out, but tickets are available at tickettails.com for two special performances in celebration of BEAT’s 50th show, at 7 p.m. Thursday and Nov. 16. For other information, contact beatchildrenstheatre.org or 541-419-5558.
Q: Congrats on the 50th show.
A: I know, it was pretty exciting when we realized it. We were putting our new website together and got to counting all of the past shows and went, “Oh my goodness, it’s our 50th.” … Sometimes we get so busy we don’t see the forest for the trees.
Q: And so you’re doing a couple of extra shows?
A: Yeah, so we have two casts, and we decided to celebrate (by adding) an extra show for each cast. … They’re just fundraiser nights, kind of setting the stage for the next 50 shows.
Q: Can you tell me about the show?
A: It’s “Charlotte’s Web,” and pretty close to the original book, and obviously familiar because of the movie. It has all the favorite characters in it. It’s a very sweet version of the show. … We have two casts and a total of 60 kids between the two. We have a lot of little animals running around. Our youngest actor is 7, and our oldest is 13. … The second director is Gracie Conant, and this is her first show as a director, and she grew up in BEAT as an actress. I’m doing one cast, and she’s doing the other. It’s kind of fun for our 50th show to have one of our students who’s been with us from the beginning doing directing.
Q: I saw set designer Gary Loddo’s post about turning the cabin from “Evil Dead the Musical” into the barn from “Charlotte’s Web.”
A: We try really hard to repurpose stuff. It’s fun, as I look up at our set. I see the window we used from “Elf,” and he’s repurposing the wood from “Evil Dead.” … We have all these different pieces. The stairs are the ones he built for “Spring Awakenings.”
Q: I hope there’s no left over remnants from “Evil Dead.” You know, the lights come on and then, “Oh, there’s blood we missed over there.”
A: We had that before, when we did “James and the Giant Peach.” Every once in a while, blood would just drip from the ceiling.
Q: Oh, really? You’re kidding.
A: I said, ‘It’s OK, it’s just peach juice. We’re just wearing a giant peach, and it’s peach juice, right?’
— David Jasper, The Bulletin